Now why am I writing an article about pecan pie right after the holidays? It’s because if you are like me, you have tons of leftover nuts from holiday baking. You can certainly freeze them, but personally I’m always short on freezer space, and like to prepare for the holidays early. I already have 2022 Thanksgiving cranberry sauce on the shelf, and now it’s time to get my pecan pie filling ready.
I have all kinds of fruit pie fillings in my pantry – raspberry, blueberry, apple, cran-apple, strawberry, and usually peach too but I’m out. I use these for pies, cobblers, hand pies pancake toppings, crepe and cake fillings. The apples can also be served in a little dish on the side of a country meal. When we pull the smoker out for a traditional North Carolina barbecue feast, I always make a pie using my homemade fruit fillings. These pie fillings are a staple in my pantry, and this year pecan pie made its debut on my shelf, and holiday tables. I’m about to take those leftover pecans and turn them into pie for year’s end.
I got this base recipe from “Not Your Momma’s Canning Book” by Rebecca Lindamood. It’s a fun little cookbook, also with a killer recipe for Korean barbecue sauce. The trick with this filling is getting it out of the jar! It’s a sticky filling base, so you need to soak the jar in warm water to loosen it up a bit. Upon opening it, you add eggs and butter to complete the filling. I added chocolate chips to the bottom of my pie shell before adding the filling to make chocolate pecan pie. It’s a family favorite! The book author says this yields 4 pints, but I only get 3 1/2 pints from it. You can use a half-pint jar if you don’t have enough for the fourth pint, and use it for tartlet filling.
My next recipe will be another way to can up walnuts for a tasty ice cream topping you can enjoy all summer. But for now, let’s get started on holiday prep and get to making these pecan pies.
Canned Pecan Pie Filling
Yield 3 1/2 pints
1 1/2 pounds of pecan halves
3 cups light brown sugar
2 1/4 maple syrup
1/2 tsp salt
5 TBSP bourbon
2 TBSP and 1 tsp vanilla extract
Chop nuts. Bring to a boil brown sugar, salt and syrup. Boil for one minute. Remove from heat, and add bourbon and vanilla, a little at a time because mixture will pop. Incorporate all ingredients and stir in pecans. Fill jars, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Remove air bubbles. Clean rims of jars and put on lids and rings. Water bath can for 15 minutes.
Chocolate Pecan Pie
1 pint pecan pie filling
5 TBSP butter
Take pint of pecan pie filling and sit in warm water for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350.
Put an even layer of chocolate chips at the bottom of a pie crust, and pour filling over the top.
Bake for about 50 minutes or until the center is not jiggly. Let cool completely before slicing.